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"...a few centuries of coherent humanist thought, set against a million odd years of evolved killer ape tendency. No-one's going to give you very good odds on humanism, are they?"
- Richard Morgan

Iron Inlay Plates  
  Works perfectly with an electromagnetic table to maintain place settings.  

In his 1929 story The Shot into Infinity, Otto Willi Gail identifies a problem with the electric kitchen and cooking in space - floating plates!

...Inge had endeavored to serve as hostess, though not without some trouble in accustoming herself to the condition of weightlessness. To be sure, there was no need to worry about breaking dishes or glasses. If they were dropped, they remained floating freely in the air of the room and could only be held fast by the electromagnetic table top because of their iron inlays.
Technovelgy from A Daring Trip To Mars, by Max Valier.
Published by Wonder Stories in 1931
Additional resources -

The food, of course, was another matter:

Unfortunately the magnetism could not be extended to the food and drink. The morsels had actually to be juggled, in order to get them to the mouth.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from A Daring Trip To Mars
  More Ideas and Technology by Max Valier
  Tech news articles related to A Daring Trip To Mars
  Tech news articles related to works by Max Valier

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